The fabric that (hotel) dreams are made of
Far away from the major film metropolises, actress Jessica Schwarz runs a successful design hotel together with her sister Sandra in her home town of Michelstadt. In five individually decorated rooms, ‘Die Träumerei’ (Dreaming / Reverie) offers peace, relaxation – and lots of textiles. In our interview, Jessica Schwarz talks about childhood memories, her love of interior design, bed linen and wallpaper, and about the challenges of interior decorating using textiles in her hotel.
Jessica, let us talk about your childhood. When you think back, what textiles do you associate with it?
I immediately associate the ‘Pumuckl’ bed linen with my childhood. This children’s character was a must for every German bedroom at that time.
I can also remember the turquoise-coloured carpeting in patterns typical for the eighties and nineties. My fondest memory, however, is of the photographic wallpaper in our kitchen, which showed a jungle scene with parrots. And this is the root of my passion for wallpaper.
And which textile reminds you of home?
Primarily, I associate blankets and bed linen made of natural fibres with home. I have always liked natural textiles, such as cashmere, very much. And now we have bought a camel-hair blanket for the first time. It is fantastic to touch and feels almost like silk. It has given me a whole new sense of life. Naturally, a cashmere blanket for the couch is also a must.
Tell us about your set dining table at home.
I am a sensuous person and love eating. When I cook for guests, I take great care with the table decorations. My guests should experience a ‘wow!’ moment when they sit down and wait for dinner to be served. For example, I bought some linen napkins in restrained and pigmented colours from Bloomingdale’s. Flowers, attractive vases and the right table cloth are also essential aspects of a well-decorated table for me.
You furnished your hotel with the help of an architect and designer. Tell us about the working relationship.
At the beginning of the project, we often wondered: “Will that work?”. Although Sandra is an absolute hotel professional, we knew we would need the help of an architect. And working with Johannes Müller-Baum was a great success. He was very open and always said, “Yes, that’ll work”, to us. The working relationship was just like that with a good film director. We complemented each other perfectly.
Who decides on the furnishings and textiles?
Sandra and I decide such things together even though, as the manager, Sandra naturally has her eye on the furnishings every day. However, even when I’m not there, the hotel is always in my thoughts. Wherever I am, I look at the furnishings in hotels and gather new ideas.
How important is sustainability to you for the furnishings?
‘Die Träumerei’ is very ecologically oriented and we always take sustainability into account when it comes to our furnishings. We pay attention to the materials, for example, the country of origin of organic cotton. In addition, we use regional and organic products whenever possible. Sustainability and quality are definitely very important for our hotel.
What I adore is the turquoise-coloured rug by Osborn & Little with silver birds of paradise. When the sun shines on it in the morning, the birds begin to shine and seem to be moving. Emery et Cie from Belgium also make great wallpaper. Now, I have this wallpaper at home, too. After all, I can’t have more beautiful furnishings in my hotel than at home, can I?
How important is a trade fair such as Heimtextil for you?
Without fairs, we would not have been able to design and furnish our hotel. At no store would we have been able to discover the forms, colours and haptics of our hotel furnishings – and certainly not via the internet! Only at a fair is all this possible. At Heimtextil, haptics are very important, as they are for our business, and I am already looking forward to gaining lots of new inspiration for our rooms at the coming Heimtextil.
But that’s not all: the fair has something in every direction and from all countries. I mean the huge variety in the halls – bed linen, curtains and wallpaper from France, Belgium, the USA, India or even Ethiopia. And, of course, the latest trends and designs. A genuine dream!
‘Die Träumerei’ is located in the idyllic town of Michelstadt, about an hour’s drive to the south of Frankfurt am Main. Sisters Jessica and Sandra Schwarz have been running the small, five-room hotel since 2008. Further information at www.die-traeumerei.com